Gun Alley

Gun Alley : Murder, Lies and Failure of Justice

By (author) Kevin Morgan

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In the early morning of New Year’s Eve 1921, 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke’s naked body was found in Gun Alley, a dead-end Melbourne lane. She had been raped and strangled. In an atmosphere of public frenzy, the police were pushed to find a culprit and charged saloonkeeper Colin Ross with her murder. Rapidly convicted, and with his appeals to higher courts rejected, Ross was hanged – protesting his innocence to the end. Researching the case in 1995, author Kevin Morgan stumbled upon an envelope containing critical evidence: hair samples. During the trial the prosecution claimed hairs found on Ross’s blanket matched a sample of Alma’s hair. This was the first time such forensic evidence brought a conviction in Australia. Re-examination by modern-day experts has proven the hairs do not match … Gun Alley is the riveting story of how botched policework, trial by media and lynch-law hysteria spawned a staggering conspiracy to convict and hang an innocent man, and reveals for the first time the vital clues—missed in the original investigation—that point, more than 90 years on, to the true killer. Now updated, this edition documents the extraordinary events leading to the historic pardon and charts the aftermath for the Ross and Tirtschke families as a hanged man’s body is recovered from an unmarked prison grave ...

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  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 210 x 33mm | 470g
  • 25 May 2012
  • HARDIE GRANT BOOKS
  • South Yarra
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 8 page colour photograph section
  • 174270266X
  • 9781742702667
  • 218,129

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Author Information

Kevin Morgan has worked variously as a photographer, author, teacher, librarian, historian and researcher. His other books include Detective Piggott’s Casebook—a companion volume to Gun Alley—which documents a series of true crime investigations involving groundbreaking forensics; and XIX, a thesis on mortality and the problem of evil, particularly as it affects children. His photo-essay ‘Holocaustic’, exploring the fate of a Jewish child in the Third Reich, was exhibited to much acclaim at the Jewish Museum of Australia. Kevin lives in Melbourne with his wife, Linda.

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Review quote

'Gun Alley is a masterwork of forensic detection.' - Ian Jones 'This is a winner... a book written from the heart...' - Kerry Greenwood

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